Episode: Aaaand We’re Back!
January 13, 2010
Mommy! Mommy! I had this terrible dream! Project Runway was in Los Angeles, instead of New York. Everything was really boring and for some reason the only thing anyone wanted to talk about was who invented the sweater. Michael and Nina had been replaced with a rotisserie of random people plucked right off Hollywood Boulevard. And you wanna know the craziest part? Heidi wasn’t pregnant at all!
Wow. That was the stupidest dream ever. It was even worse than that time I dreamed that there was this big lawsuit between Bravo and these two really fat brothers.
So, we’re back in New York for an all-new season of Project Runway! And the entire population of the tri-state area has been narrowed down to these 62 designers. Let’s get to know them!
- Amy Sarabi, 26, Plano, Texas, via Oakland, Calif.: This season’s designated Persian. Says she “likes being different.” Just like everyone else.
- Anna Marie Lynett, 23, Whitefish Bay, Wisc.., via Milwaukee, Wisc.: Fulfills contractual obligation that all fashion design contest shows feature a minimum of one cheddarhead.
- Anthony Williams, 28, Birmingham, Ala., via Atlanta, Ga.: Sassy, zoftig, black gay guy who’s quick with a quip. Uses “honey” in conversation with effortless ease. Speaks of himself in the third person. A truly unique creature, the likes of which have never been seen before.
- Ben Chmura, 30, Meriden, Conn., via Tampa, Fla.: Likes comic books. Emulates them. Will essay the role of Invisidude.
- Christiane King, 30, Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, via Los Angeles: An innovator. Likes color and texture. Actually comes from a place where there is color “24/7.” May actually be one of the models from Season Six incognito.
- Emilio Sosa, 43, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, via New York, N.Y.: Worked in costume design, but would rather have his outfits ride the subway instead.
- Janeane Marie Ceccanti, 28, Willows, Calif,. via Portland, Ore.: The designated sob sister. Has trouble with revolving doors.
- Jay Nicolas Sario, 31, Manila, The Philippines, via San Francisco, Calif.: Missed the memo about fauxhawks being passé. Weighs 145 pounds. Does not want to be a millionaire.
- Jesse LeNoir, 25, Painesville, Ohio, via Orlando, Fla.: This season’s designated crush object for most viewers. Part hipster, part Disney World cast member. Does a mean Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean.
- Jesus Estrada, 21, Mazatlan, Mexico: The one who is all about evening gowns. Will also do double duty as the sassy Latino contestant.
- Jonathan Peters, 29, Woonsocket, R.I.: Thinks he’s an “animal,” makes comical throat noises and attempts sassy sound bites. Also missed the fauxhawk memo. Could possibly be gay. Also, could be a carbon-based life form.
- Maya Luz, 22, Santa Fe, N.M., via New York, N.Y.: Punk rock girl. Bangface, junior.
- Mila Hermanovski, 40, Dallas, Texas via Los Angeles, Calif.: The one I’m sure is either lying about her age or is spending way too much time in the sun. This season’s costume designer. Bangface, senior.
- Pamela Ptak, 47, Pittsfield, Mass., via Pucks County, Penn.: The one who had another career before this. Should spend the rest of the season searching for her missing vowel.
- Ping Wu, 34, Chengdu, People's Republic of China, via Chicago, Ill.: Physical therapist by day, designer by night. The requisite loon.
- Seth Aaron Henderson, 38, Vancouver, Wash.: The best-preserved member of Duran Duran.
Now, these first episodes are always such a blur, since we don’t know any of these people. And what design we do see goes by so fast, we can barely process any of it. So, here’s an express trip through what happens.
Heidi and Tim invite the gang for the traditional rooftop champagne toast, the traditional “I’m pregnant with my 16th baby Seal, so I’ll just have apple cider” from Heidi and the “never before have we had such (talented designers, people with a spirit of innovation, raging wackjobs with bad hairstyles)” from Tim. Everyone says how they can’t believe they’re actually here. Someone needs help with identifying the Empire State Building.
The next morning, the mob arrives in Central Park where the designers discover that it has been littered with bolts of fabric and an incongruous Project Runway catwalk. After Anthony makes a mandatory sassy remark, Tim informs the gang that they are to each make an outfit which best reflects who he or she is as a designers. And they’ll have three minutes in which to make a mad dash for the fabrics.
Cue the designer scramble footage.
Once that’s done, Tim springs the “twist” on them. They’ll have to learn to edit and will have two minutes to drop all but five fabrics. Ping provides comic relief when she has trouble unfurling her fabric.
To the workroom!
Once at Parsons, Tim pimps out the show’s new sponsor, the fantabulous multi-media tablets from Kaypro, and work begins.
The designers work and discuss their plans. But, seeing as there are so many, I just can’t focus on them. When Tim shows up for his “talk to me”s, things get a bit more clear.
Christiane’s making some mess involving blue fabric sewn together with a blue and yellow print. Tim tells her to finish it “impeccably.” I’m doubtful that that will happen.
Ping beams in from her galaxy and Tim discovers her draped in what appears to be all of her fabrics. He asks is she’s cold. She says that this is how she designs. He asks if she can be objective when she uses her own body instead of a dress form. She receives a message from her home planet and can’t really process both stimuli simultaneously.
Seth Aaron has seemingly stepped away from the Duran Duran pose to give us a bit of Bruce Springsteen with a headband in ’85. While I go hunting in my iTunes for “I’m On Fire,” I hear him telling Tim something about zippers.
Janeane Marie tells Tim how she’s making a little black dress. Tim is concerned that it’s looking like a puckered mess. Janeane Marie starts crying again, thinking salty tear stains can only improve the look.
Anthony tells Tim how Anthony is “wonderfully well” as he presents his six dresses, six fabrics glued together concept. Tim is concerned that Anthony is upstaging one dramatic fabric with another, lesser one. Anthony tells him how Anthony will be changing the dress before anyone else sees it. Now if only someone could tell Anthony how Anthony’s full of it.
Off to Jesus’s station where we see that El Sassypantalon has taken his faux reptilian mini-skirt and turned it into a long evening gown with more brown faux reptile fabric tacked on. Tim is concerned that the seam doesn’t seem intentional. In fact he’s downright “disturbed.”
Lastly, Tim is seen at Emilio’s station, where the designer’s made a fantastically complicated top by appliqueing white stripes of patterned fabric over a plum-colored fabric. While Tim loves what he sees, he’s concerned that the designer could be the first in the show’s history to not finish in time for the runway show.
Really, Tim. Have we already forgotten that clown who sent down the runway a model who, save for an intricate collar, was naked? That was last season, right. … Oh, wait. I forgot. That was part of my NyQuil fever dream. Carry on.
Tim leaves the workroom, telling everyone how he’s concerned that they’ll need to recalibrate their designs if they are to finish on time.
And, look, Janeane Marie’s crying again. It seems she’s scrapping her entire outfit and starting over. The tear-stained look just wasn’t cutting it.
Next, it’s the day of the runway show and we have the obligatory cross-designer smack-talk footage, the “I think I’m going to win this” footage, the contractually obligated plug for the Psst, Your Hair Smells Terrific Hair and Makeup Room and the demand that everyone use the Ruelala.com Accessory Wall thoughtfully.
Snip, snip, snip! Sew, sew, sew! Quip, quip, quip! Aaaaand … time!
At the show, Heidi Of The Fertile Loins emerges to introduce us to the erstwhile runway strangers Michael and Nina and our guest judge, thesmokinggun.com’s Nicole Richie.
Really? Wasn’t the appearance of Lindsey Lohan last season the equivalent of the cursed Tiki idol on The Brady Bunch? Do they really want to risk that again?
Anyhoo, Heidi almost says that Nicole will Launch Her Line, risking another Bravo lawsuit and it’s on with the show!
Now, since there still 132 designers and we only get 12.2 microseconds in which to assess each outfit, there’s no way I’m mentioning them all. All that matters is that the six that we saw Tim check in on are the tops and bottoms. Oh, and that Janeane Marie stopped sobbing long enough to create a decent outfit which landed somewhere in the middle of the pack.
After Heidi sends away the middle 126 designers, we’re left with … Seth Aaron, Emilio, Ping, Jesus, Anthony and Christiane.
The questioning begins.
Anthony presents his hastily slapped together flowered print dress with the matching three foot bow attached at the hip. It looks like hell. And on close inspection it REALLY looks like hell. Mr. Refugee From Designing Women is relieved that the judges didn’t make him cry or some such.
The judges all seem to really love Seth Aaron’s dress, which he calls “Little Tokyo.” It’s a cute little dress in a neutral checked pattern with braces and a huge red zipper up the back. It’s really cool and the husband thinks it deserves the win.
Then, it’s time for the Ping show! The loony tune babbles about her design aesthetic while her model looks positively miserable. I picture a sad puppy which has just discovered that someone had dumped a bag of laundry on its head. Still, for some reason that totally escapes me, I like the outfit. And it looks that it’s really intrigued the judges too.
This is followed by Jesus, who shows off his Samsonite-as-evening wear gown. Immediately, the judges zero in on the seam which reveals that the dress had gone from mini to maxi in one easy step. Nina calls it a “chocolate bar.” Michael makes a reference to crocodiles. … Oh, how we missed you guys!
Next, the judges turn to Christiane. Her dress is an unmitigated disaster. From afar, it looked bad. Up close, it looked like something from The Fashion Show. It’s puckering, ugly, tacky, unfinished, ugly, poorly constructed … and also ugly. Naturally, the designer calls it “sophisticated,” “elegant” and “sexy.”
Lastly, they question Emilio. The dress came out wonderfully and the man modeling it is very handsome indeed. Michael notes that it is “deceptively simple,” which is one of the many things that really is so cool about the woven, segmented, complicated outfit.
The designers are sent away for the “let’s talk behind their backs” footage and Michael Kors Makes Catty Analogies moments. Once those are over, the six are called back out.
Ping is safe. She teleports off the runway.
Emilio is … the winner! He gets immunity in the next challenge and is sent off to tell us how he now has a target on his back.
Seth Aaron is safe. He heads off to join the rest of the Wild Boys and Girls on Film.
Anthony is … safe. He gets the vapors and makes a total ass of himself before he finally leaves the runway under threat that Heidi just might change her mind and auf’ him.
Which leaves Christiane and Jesus. As it was prophesied in the Book of Revelation.
After a quick fake out, Heidi declares Jesus to be safe. Christiane is out.
Cue the “this won’t be the last you hear of me” footage from a designer no one will remember in 14 days.
Next time on Project Runway: Mud! Tim makes a pun! And someone’s actually made a runway model look heavy!